Earning an education degree with majors in Art and Theatre and a minor in Speech Communications, there’s always been a “flair for the dramatic”, the “creative” and the “humorous” involved - or HOPED for – in most of my life’s journey.
A keen observer of life, I found myself in the business communications field in the mid-1970s; involved with people up and down every rung of various corporate ladders (from CEOs to the mailroom), gathering information (from hamburgers, shoes and mascara to insurance, salty snacks and waste disposal), interviewing and producing.
Fortunately, in 1983 and finding humor in it all, I founded Corporate Comedy®, a production company specializing in humor for business – with an emphasis on musical parodies. By the mid-1990s the economy shifted and the oxymoron no longer worked.
I retooled and took my writing skills back to the same arena and worked as an audiovisual scriptwriter of corporate presentations and a speechwriter for corporate executives. Again, the listening and parsing of information were necessary gifts I used to my advantage. Then I dabbled a bit in meeting planning and BAM! – age 40 struck and the “writer within” said: “If I don’t try to give my SELF a voice, she may choke and die.” (In fact, this would have been a great time for me to see a Life Coach!) I closed Corporate Comedy®.
I wrote and played around, dabbled in theatre and wrote scenarios that have been professionally produced on Chicago stages. I wrote some children’s books that remain unpublished but have won awards and delighted small children in their classrooms and at bedtime. I sang – sang my heart out – in professional choruses in Chicago, at weddings, at funerals, in the shower and may dabble with some cabaret tunes in the future – knowing that the “voice” – both inner and outer – matters.
I produced again – a women’s lecture series – Unique Lives & Experiences - in a 4300-seat venue in Chicago; five internationally celebrated women – one a month – for five months. It was a “big deal” and a success. Then two and a half years were spent house managing the delightfully creative Chicago performance art production of “Blue Man Group”, overseeing my staff and nightly full houses of 625 patrons. Again, all about words and guiding/leading others.
I also spent over 12 years recording “books on tape” for the blind and visually impaired and another decade as a director on the board of Chicago’s Guild for the Blind. I helped give birth to their annual art show, “Passionate Focus”, a six-week gallery of juried works by blind and visually impaired artists that has become an annual benefit event.
In 2000, I attended a life-altering program called “Group Leadership Training” (now known as “Matrix Leadership Institute * The Art & Science of Sustainable Communities & Organizations”). Over an eight-month period, I tallied about 220 hours in an intense, experiential therapy “container” with 12 other participants, two facilitators and nine observers; an amazing and windmill-tilting adventure. When asked, I liken it to “Spending 220 hours with 22 Dr. Phil’s” – or “I sent my inner child to voodoo camp and all I got was this lousy t-shirt”. That being said, each moment of ALL these experiences brought me here. Not a moment of mistake or regret in any of it.
Oh, and then there was the journey with both my parents – their individual descents into illness and then death. Their journeys and deaths, as different as they were as people in wellness, taught me great things. Yet something more was calling to me – to my “who’s at YOUR core, Lois?” self-talk. Time to reflect upon MY being.
After the required courses of study, I received certifications as a Life Coach from the Coach Training Alliance and a Dream Coach from Dream Coach University®. In addition, I maintain active membership in the International Coach Federation and the Chicago Coach Federation.
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Change a Situation. Change a Mind. Change.